Celebrating a Random Act of Kindness

Furst Family

On Saturday afternoon I was enjoying a sun-filled day at the pool with some girlfriends when I looked at my phone to see an email from Liliana staring back at me with the subject line

“Re: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

When you get an email like that from the boss, you turn away from the conversation to read what’s going on. I paused hoping it was a good “WOW,” and it really was. The email was sent to several members of our team with a long thread about a special family from Florida who decided to put a little good back into the world following the heartbreaking events in Orlando. 

Cassandra Furst and her husband Travis have three young children and while they tried to shield their little ones from the news reports and talk of the shooting, the Furst family inevitably stumbled upon it while channel-surfing.   

Cassandra and Travis decided to use the moment to carefully discuss what happened and teach their kids about the power that random acts of kindness after tragedies like these can bring.

As a family, they bought funny “thinking of you” cards and wrote a thoughtful message in each. 

They simply wanted to brighten the day of 20 strangers.    

A Wendy’s Act Of Kindness

They also wanted to include a sweet treat in the cards, so they went to their local Wendy’s® to buy 20 gift cards which would have just enough on them to purchase a small Frosty®.  They discovered the minimum that can be put on a gift card is $5, but after learning about the Furst family’s project, the General Manager went to her office and grabbed 20 free small Frosty and free small fry certificates and gave them to the Furst family free of charge.

As an aside, thanks to General Manager Lauren Hillman for doing the right thing in this situation.  Well done! 

Under the watch of their parents, the Furst kids distributed the cards to 20 individuals in three different grocery store parking lots. Cassandra explained how the cards were received on her Facebook post,

They got hugs. They got candy. They got tears and ‘Thank you so much – I needed this today.’ It was their first experience seeing how a tiny act of kindness comes right back to you. It’s a small thing, a small lesson, but you never know how far lessons like that can go.

First Family Kids

The email thread and the story of the Furst family has now been passed around to many of us within the company. Putting a bit of fear aside that this was going to come across as self-serving to Wendy’s for our role in this story (not my intent), I am honored to share the lesson Cassandra and Travis have taught their children.

In the wake of tragedies like these, it’s easy to get down and not see that there’s good in the world, but let’s follow the Furst’s example.  Let’s recognize that we can all find a moment to brighten another person’s day and make a positive, lasting impact. 

Today, I’m going to find an opportunity to reciprocate the Furst family’s kindness and I hope you do the same.